After Malaysia announced a halting of chicken exports, the past few days saw the stock of chicken meat in supermarkets here fall even as its price rose significantly.
And just as Singaporeans are gearing up for a final farewell to shelves full of chicken meat, Malaysia yet again dropped another bomb.
This time relating to a different white meat — fish.
Fall in Supply of Fish
Local markets in Malaysia are seeing an exponential increase in fish prices due to the lack of supply in waters off the country, according to the National Fishermen’s Association.
Its chairman Abdul Hamid Bahari said local fishermen estimate a decline of up to 70 per cent in fishes sighted off the seas, especially in the northern part of peninsular Malaysia.
The fall in supply went from more than a million tonnes a month to about 300,000 tonnes a month.
This has no doubt led to a decrease in the fishermen’s earnings.
Illegal Fishing Decreasing Supply
As a result, fish is now priced higher.
Small-sized mackerel are now sold at between RM12 and RM14 (S$3.75 and S$4.40) per kilogramme, compared to RM3 to RM4 previously.
The decline in fish off Malaysian waters was not a new phenomenon, an unnamed source reported.
“Actually, this has been happening since 2015 and what is worrying us is that the frequency is decreasing due to the large number of catches every year.
“This ‘greed’ has caused it to decrease drastically, especially in the coastal sea, and one of the main factors is unreported and unregulated fishing activities, which is illegal fishing,” the source said.
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Despite a decrease in the number of fishes caught, the Fisheries Department maintains at least a yield of 1,000,000 tonnes each year.
With the reduced supply, the effects could ripple over to Singaporean markets, but that has yet to be seen.
However, that is no reason to start panic buying fish as some did with chicken meat recently.
After all, you wouldn’t want to be eating fish for a straight month now, would you?
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